CAS 2013: Music Lovers Audio presents Wilson, AMG, Clearaudio, dCs, Spectral

CAS4The big Wilson Audio Alexia loudspeakers ($49,500) were treated to one of the best-looking rooms at the Westin, although one that also had to have been quite the challenge to set up: the long room sported a wall of glass overlooking the pool, as well as having several columns to contend with. No worries, though, this was a delight. With all the bins of LPs, I felt right at home.

Music Lovers Audio made sure the Alexias were supported by some of the best. Spectral Audio provided amplification with their DMA400 power amps ($28,000/pair) and DMC30SSII preamp ($12,000). The digital source was a dCS Scarlatti DAC ($24,000) with the Scarlatti Master Clock ($10,000). On the analog end, the AMG Viella 12 turntable with 12/2 tonearm ($17,000) mounted with a Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement cartridge ($15,000) spun the tunes through a Aesthetix to Eclipse phono stage ($23,500). The turntable also sported an AMG Reference tonearm cable ($1,500) and an AMG V12 Isolation base by HRS ($2,650). Everything was set up on HRS SXR Signature audio racks with AMG Isolation Bases (approx. $18,000) and Grand Prix Monaco audio racks (approx. $8,000). Spectral also provided all of the interconnects and cables. Whew!

Entering the room, I had to make quite a hike before I reached the area where chairs were set up for listening, but the sound was arresting as soon as I hit the door. I recall that when I sat down, something reggae-ish was on tap, demonstrating the system’s digital capabilities. The drum hits were appropriately sharp, capturing both the snap and the sound of the drumhead. I felt that the bass sounded slightly mechanical, but that may have been due to the recording, because I noticed no such issues when the exhibitor spun up one of Count Basie’s Pablo recordings on the AMG. WOW, that was some great jump! Part of the reason I’ve forgotten which Basie album it was is likely because at this point I looked over and got distracted by the immense grin coming from my husband as he bounced in his chair. Excellent. I may joke that Wilson speakers look like evil robots from “Black Hole,” but they really are excellent, and it was all I could do not to stay and work my way through all available Count Basie albums.


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